Spirit of Cardiff is once again able to pick up speed now she is clear of Saturday's storm and making up a little lost time

Spirit of Cardiff is once again able to pick up speed now she is clear of Saturday’s storm and making up a little lost time. Clive Tully reports:

“It’s a relief to clear Saturday’s storm and get some speed up again. We manage to bring the average up to around 14 knots, and by Sunday morning we’re up to 19. But there are a few moments of concern during the night, with a few distant flashes of lightning, and Sunday sees a largely overcast sky, even though it’s still very hot and close.

We learn that the storm we passed through on the way to Quetzal has been officially upgraded to hurricane status. So we’ve experienced just about every level of bad weather. Several more permutations of good wouldn’t be a bad thing, either, although we’re certainly not complaining about the conditions on Sunday afternoon.

There’s a brief moment of excitement when we’re bombarded by dolphins – or at least that’s what it seems like. Not just coming up to the surface and diving down again, these ones are doing the full aerobatics – somersaulting up to six feet out of the water, sometimes in pairs. Of course, Murphy dictates that by the time you get your camera out, the fun is over, but it’s a sight to file away in the old grey cells.

We’ve passed a whole string of Central American countries since leaving Guatemala – El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It’ll be some time Monday when we turn north into the Gulf of Panama, and head for our next stopover. The boat is coming out of the water for a gearbox oil change – the one piece of maintenance which can’t be done with her still afloat – and a few other repairs. You’d be surprised how much wear and tear you get on a boat that’s been lived in virtually continuously for the last three months, not to mention the rather high mileage.

We’re all suffering from rather a lot of wear and tear ourselves, so I’m sure the stop will give us a welcome breather before the final few legs. The weather in the Caribbean should be reasonably OK for the crossing to Jamaica, but the east coast of the US is looking a little more uncertain.”